Como Audio, the third Boston-based audio company founded by industry veteran Tom DeVesto, unveiled its first home audio products and a distribution strategy that puts Amazon’s fledgling premium audio store at the core of its distribution strategy along with Amazon’s Launch Pad store for start-ups.
The tabletop music-system company is also targeting premium retailers for its first two products, initially available on preorder through Kickstarter and shipping in September.
The products are the $399 one-piece stereo Duetto and $299 Solo, which is available with optional second speaker to deliver stereo sound. Both feature compact furniture-grade wood cabinets in multiple finishes, two-way speakers, 2×30-watt amplification, and playback of the latest digital-content sources. They also deliver simple operation so house guests can use them without downloading a control app to a smartphone, DeVesto said.
The systems are equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth AptX, FM, DLNA to access music from networked computers and smartphones, vTuner to access 20,000 Internet radio stations and podcasts, Spotify, high-res USB input to connect to computers, optical input to connect to TVs, and multiroom-audio capability.
“I wanted to make it easy to access all of the music content available through one device that would deliver robust, true high-fidelity sound in a compact wooden design that would not only produce great room-filling sound but have the ability to sync music throughout the house,” DeVesto said.
For simplicity of use, consumers will be able to access up to six Cloud sources stored in presets, whether Internet radio stations or Spotify. To access more stations, consumers can use the Como Audio app, which delivers source switching, EQ, and ability to link multiple tabletop systems together to play simultaneously. An IR remote is also included.
Both products also feature color displays to display artist and song metadata and album art. For the Solo, the display is 2.8 inches, and for the larger Duetto, it’s 3.2 inches.
The driver complement consists of a 3-inch woofer and 0.75-inch tweeter.
Other features include NFC and ability to be updated via the Internet with new features and services.
Like products from DeVesto’s prior company, Tivoli Audio, the systems are compact furniture-grade tabletop systems, but unlike all but one of those systems, the Solo and Duetto add Cloud-based music, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, DLNA, and multiroom audio.
DeVesto left Tivoli last year, and the company was subsequently purchased by Serruya Private Equity (SPE), a family-managed venture group. He founded Tivoli in 2000. Before that, he co-founded Cambridge Sound Works in 1988 with the late CE-industry pioneer Henry Kloss. The company began as a manufacturer-direct seller of Cambridge-branded home speakers. Products were sold initially through a catalog, but the company later expanded into online sales in the early 1990s, making it the first online retailer of hi-fi audio, DeVesto believes.
Cambridge was purchased in 1997 by Creative Sound Labs and sold off in the late 2000s.